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06 April 2021 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Thabo Kessah
Ntebohiseng Sekhele is the Associate Guest Editor of the recent Special Issue of the African Journal of Range & Forage Science.

The Director of the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU), Dr Ralph Clark, and researcher, Ntebohiseng Sekhele, recently became part of a guest editorial team for the African Journal of Range & Forage Science. The Special Issue titled, ‘Montane rangelands in a changing world’, was published on 3 March 2021.

“I feel privileged to have been part of the team that assembled this special issue. The experience was daunting at first, as I had never been part of an editorial team before. However, with the support of the guest editors and the journal’s administrator, I was able to overcome the imposter-syndrome feeling and allowed myself to learn and enjoy the ride. My ‘aha’ moments were the critical comments from the reviewers on each paper. It was amazing to witness how this feedback would enhance the quality of an article,” said Ntebohiseng Sekhele, Geography lecturer on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Journal focus

This issue focused on the applied management of montane rangelands for production in Southern Africa and the broader world. Submissions could include original research, reviews, and meta-analyses. This has culminated in contributions that centred on the impact of policy on pastoral practices by montane communities, fire management regimes, cumulative effects of poor governance on rangeland degradation, and sustainable grazing systems – including in ecological infrastructure such as montane wetlands and communal rangeland. 

“The process took almost a year, as the first call for abstracts was made in December 2019 and final revisions of accepted papers were concluded in November 2020. There were 32 submissions with only 12 articles and one book review of Prof Rodney Moffett’s book, A Scientific Bibliography of the Drakensberg, Maloti and Adjacent Lowlands. Of the 12 contributions, nine focus on the Maloti-Drakensberg, with papers on Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Free State,” she revealed. 

Submitted papers

“All papers advocate for the sustainable management of sensitive montane systems, which ties well with my own research that makes a contribution to the limited scholarship of natural resource-related conflicts between montane communities and their adjacent protected areas, as well as climate change impacts on natural resources,” said Sekhele, a PhD candidate through the ARU’s US-SA University Staff Development Programme (USDP). The special issue allowed for a closer link between the US and SA USDP through the involvement of Dr Kryan Kunkel – Ntebohiseng’s US co-supervisor – as one of the guest editors. 

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